Hancock Shaker Village
8th Annual Spring Celebration
April 3rd through April 25th, 2010 in Pittsfield, MA
Hancock Shaker Village (HSV) kicks off its 50th anniversary as a living history museum with Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm, running April 3rd through April 25th, 2010. This annual spring celebration is one of the most exciting times of the year at the Village, when scores of baby lambs, piglets, calves, goats, ducklings, and chicks arrive at the historic Round Stone Barn. Constructed in 1826, the Round Stone Barn is the only circular barn ever built by the Shakers and originally stabled 52 milk cows.
The animals represent livestock once kept by the Shakers, beginning in the 1700s and continuing into the 1960s. In addition to the heritage breed animals raised by HSV year round, this event includes “guest” livestock raised by local farms and 4-H clubs. Visitors get to meet and greet the baby animals and participate in farm chores, such as helping to feed the animals and to save seeds. They may also participate in fun Shaker-themed craft activities, such as basket weaving, making and decorating seed packets, and weaving on a small loom.
The weekend of April 17th – 18th is Sheep Shearing Weekend. In addition to the regular farm activities, Sheep Shearing Weekend will feature shearing of the Village’s Merino sheep and special hands-on textile demonstrations and activities that will be conducted by volunteers from three local spinning and weaving guilds. On Saturday, April 17th, there will also be live, family-friendly music and children’s crafts. ($)
Another event happening during the HSV Spring Festival happens on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22nd at 2:00pm. There will be family-friendly event to tour the Hancock Shaker Village’s historic-to-modern green and environmentally-friendly features. Included will be information on sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, architectural design and construction, smart growth town planning, and more. There will be a demonstration of the 1858 water power turbine in Laundry and Machine Shop and up-close investigation of the historic passive solar features of Shaker buildings, compared with Hancock Shaker Village’s new solar photovoltaic array. Free with general admission.
Daily during the Spring Festival, Behind-the-Scenes Farm Tours will be available at 2 pm. Families can get up close and personal with the animals on these private guided tours, which include special access to the newborns, helping at feeding time, gift bags with a variety of toys and games from the Village Store, and a group photo to commemorate the visit. Reservations may be made for this tour by calling 413.443.0188 x213. ($$)
About Hancock Shaker Village
Hancock Shaker Village celebrates its 50th anniversary as a living history museum in 2010. Situated on a picturesque expanse of farm, field, and woodland in Pittsfield, Massachusetts the fully restored Village includes 18 historic buildings, a working farm, heirloom medicinal and vegetable gardens, spectacular hiking trails, and one of the country’s finest collections of Shaker objects—22,000 examples of Shaker furniture, crafts, tools, and clothes that help to tell the story of principled living at the Shakers’ City of Peace over 220 years. The Village offers daily activities, special tours, craft and cooking demonstrations, lectures and workshops, and a variety of activities for children and families a Museum Store and Shaker-inspired cuisine at the Village Harvest Café. The Discovery Room offers hands-on opportunities for children of all ages to try their hand at sustainable farm activities, chair seat weaving, working at a loom, trying on Shaker-style clothing, or milking a life-sized replica of a cow. An audio tour (free with admission) is available in English, French, Italian, and German.
For more hours, ticket prices, direction and more information, call 800.817.1137 or go to www.hancockshakervillage.org.